What are my rights as a Freelancer?
Freelance workers enjoy numerous privileges. The ability to pick and choose jobs as they see fit, the lack of daily 7am wake up calls and the non-existence of somebody to answer to. However, these luxuries come at a cost. Being your own boss means you are not entitled to the same benefits enjoyed by regular employees, with some subtle differences between the two. Today, the numbers of freelancers are rapidly growing in the UK, with a recent report revealing around 1 in 20 now call themselves ‘freelance.’ Therefore, it’s never been more important to explain what your rights are as a freelancer.
Now, as a self-employed person, it means you do not have the right to claim redundancy pay should a client not afford to keep you or expect to receive any sort of sick pay or maternity leave if you cannot get to work. In return for the loss of these privileges, though, a client can never expect you to devote yourself entirely to their project, unless otherwise stipulated in the work contract. Being a freelancer means you work on a flexible basis and you need to make sure this is protected.
Moreover, being a freelancer means that if you can’t complete the work personally, you are more often than not allowed to hand the work over to an appropriate substitute who shall undertake the work for you. Only in situations such as with artistic work or writing work, where your name is intended on being published alongside is this not allowed, or when stipulated in the contract beforehand.
Fair and Prompt Payment of Invoices:
Another thing you have a right to claim is prompt and fair payment for your work. All too often contractors get a little tardy with their payments, dragging to process out unnecessarily. If this happens to you, you do not need to accept it. Seek professional advice when possible; contact employment solicitors who can explain the process in full and consult you on your next move. Usually, the best course of action in this instance is to seek compensation through a small claims court; a low-key affair that (usually) does not involve huge investments of time or money.
The whole process can be a slow one, though, as the cogs of liturgy often turn at a snail’s pace. So use this as a last resort. When possible, adhere to the golden rule of freelancing and ensure all work is completed under a legally binding contract where the expectations from both parties are laid out concisely and simply.
Fundamentally, your rights as a freelancer are not so different to those of a regular employee. It could be said that, as a freelancer, a trade is made between job security and freedom, however, do not be fooled. Your income is as secure as a regular employee once you have agreed to undertake that work, and make sure you are treated fairly, whatever your line of business.
This is a guest post written by David Williamson who is a guest blogger and Marketing Executive at Coles-Solicitors. He writes on different law and legal topics to share his knowledge with different bloggers and online legal readers.